The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News

The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News

The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News

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Review: Chinese sandwich restaurant offers bready delight

By Claudia Geib, News Staff

The Year of the Dragon is upon us, and there are few better ways to celebrate the Chinese New Year than by sampling some traditional Chinese fare. At Fóumami, a restaurant in the financial district, one can taste the flavors passed down through generations in China’s Shandong province — but it won’t be the moo-shu, dumplings, fried rice and General Tso’s chicken one might expect. Fóumami’s main dish is, in fact, a sandwich.

Although the concept of the Asian sandwich may seem like yet another obscure fusion, it has actually existed for centuries. According to Fóumami’s website, the owner, Michael Wang, bases most of his dishes on the traditional Chinese culinary training of his mother and the decades-old recipes of his grandfather.

Fóumami may draw from a long history of culinary tradition, but it is far from old-fashioned. With its huge floor-to-ceiling windows, comfortable little tables and green and purple color scheme, the sandwich bar looks right at home in Boston’s modern financial district. The kitchen is left open so customers can watch their lunch being prepared in front of them, and Wang is right back there with his employees, calling out names as he finishes assembling sandwiches.

The place has a comfortable, happy atmosphere, fulfilling its self-description as a spot where “you might just be tempted to linger.”

I ordered a teriyaki chicken sandwich, $7.35, which was hot and ready for me to eat within minutes of my order. The sandwich was packed with carrots, onions, romaine lettuce and thickly sliced chicken, all soaked in teriyaki sauce. The fresh crunchiness of the carrots and lettuce complimented the soft chicken and onions perfectly, and the teriyaki sauce was an excellent combination of sweet and savory.

But the true star of the sandwich was its outside — a traditional Chinese delight called shao bing bread. Soft and chewy in the middle but flaky and crunchy on the outside, the shao bing was like a combination of the Indian naan and the Greek pita. It had a delicious, earthy flavor and was just as good on its own as it was wrapped around the sandwich.

Fóumami is running a series of specials to celebrate the Chinese New Year. One such special is the La Long, or “Spicy Dragon” sandwich. This sandwich was layered with flavor, from the juicy pulled pork at its center to the complimentary tastes of the Chinese barbecue sauce in which the pork was braised and the jalapeno sauce drizzled on top. Since pork is one of the foods traditionally eaten in China at the New Year, the La Long sandwich was a delicious way for us to welcome in the Year of the Dragon.

For those not interested in a Fóumami sandwich, the shop also offers a wide selection of other fare, such as salads and a variety of soups and teas. It’s open Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and offers breakfast sandwiches for early-morning visitors.

Fóumami is somewhat out of the way from the Northeastern campus, but don’t let that discourage you from stopping in for lunch. It’s tucked into the middle of the financial district, just a few minutes from the Downtown Crossing MBTA stop on the Orange Line, and less than 10 minutes from the tourist hub of Fanueil Hall.

If that’s still too far for you, good fortune may soon deliver Fóumami right to Northeastern’s doorstep. On Twitter, Wang responded to a request for a Copley Square Fóumami with the tantalizing hint: “We’ll be there soon!”

Fóumami: 225 Franklin St., Boston. Monday through Friday, 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. www.foumami.com. (617) 426-8858.

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